Posted: April 28, 2010
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh took over sole possession of second place in the Patriot League standings by sweeping a doubleheader from Bucknell Wednesday afternoon. Junior Alex Cueva went 4-for-5 with five RBI as the Mountain Hawks scored nine times in the final three innings to rally for a 10-8 victory in game one. Lehigh then built an early 2-0 lead in the nightcap and held on for a 4-2 victory to sweep the doubleheader and win the series from the Bison. With the sweep, Lehigh improves to 28-16 overall and 11-5 in the Patriot League.
“I thought the rainout gave our team some time to think about things,” said Lehigh head coach Fran Troyan. “After the split on Saturday we came out and did some good things and played with a good intensity in both games today.”
In game one Lehigh took an early 1-0 lead as sophomore Jen Colquhoun led off the top of the second inning with a triple to right field and then scored on a sacrifice fly by freshman Liz Lucas.
Bucknell, the designated home team on Lehigh’s field, benefitted from three clutch two-out hits to score six times in the second and thirds to take a 6-1 lead. Elyse Colmenero put the Bison in front with a bases-clearing three-run double in the second and then scored on a Lauren Fry single. In the third, it was Jessie Snyder with a two-out two-run triple to right to extend the Bucknell lead to five.
Cueva brought Lehigh back within four at 6-2 with a fifth-inning RBI single that scored freshman Rosie Roessel. A passed ball charged to Colmenero allowed sophomore Audra Wood to score, making it 6-3 Bucknell, but the Bison tacked on a run in the bottom of the fifth to go back up by four.
In the sixth inning, Cueva struck again with a two-out, two-run double to left field that scored Wood and freshman Jacqi Kennelly.
The Mountain Hawks needed two-out magic in the seventh as they put runners on the corners with two out. Roessel beat out a ground ball to second base for an infield hit that scored Lucas to make it 7-6. A bloop single by Wood loaded the bases and with Cueva batting a wild pitch by Alex MacLean scored senior Lauren Eichblatt to tie the game. Cueva then put Lehigh in front with a triple to right center that scored two runs to make it 9-7. Cueva then scored a crucial insurance run on a wind-aided infield single by sophomore Julie Fernandez.
“I’m so happy for Alex,” explained Troyan. “She had that big hit that put us ahead. She’s been a hard worker and a good player for us and for her to come through in that spot was very satisfying.”
The Bison threatened in the bottom of the seventh, scoring an unearned run on to creep back within two, but freshman Rebecca Bliss retired Colmenero on a ground ball to end the game.
Senior Tiffany Curtis started game one for Lehigh and earned the win allowing eight runs (three earned) on 11 hits in six-plus innings. Curtis walked two and struck out two as she improves to 15-7. Bliss picked up her first career save.
MacLean (8-2) took the loss for Bucknell, allowing four runs in two-thirds of an inning in relief of Bridget Gates.
Lehigh out-hit Bucknell 14-11 in the opener with Wood and Roessel picking up three hits each to go along with Cueva’s four hit game.
The Mountain Hawks wasted little time going in front in game two as Lehigh began the top of the first with three consecutive singles from Wood, Cueva and Fernandez, the last of which drove in two runs.
Lehigh extended its lead in the fifth when Fernandez’ fly ball to left turned into a two-base error on Jane Messersmith. Two batters later, Fernandez was able to come around to score from second on a sacrifice fly to right by Lucas.
Colquhoun added another insurance run for the Brown and White with a two-out home run to right center in the seventh inning, her fifth of the season.
In the circle, Bliss started for Lehigh and took a shutout into the seventh inning. Bucknell (22-15-1, 9-7 Patriot League) broke the shutout with two, two-out runs but Sherry Finkel lined out to second to end the game. Bliss picked up her eighth win of the season allowing two runs on nine hits while striking out one and not issuing a walk. MacLean was dealt her second loss of the day for Bucknell.
“Becca did a good job keeping her composure,” explained Troyan. “She made some good pitches when we needed them. I thought our defense did a good job behind her and made some tough plays.”
Lehigh enters its final regular season series two games behind Army in the race for the Patriot League championship, but the Black Knights have two games in hand over the Mountain Hawks, who will travel to Worcester, Massachusetts this weekend for their final regular season series against Holy Cross. The Mountain Hawks and Crusaders will play doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday at Freshman Field with first pitch both days set for 12 p.m.
Lehigh - Bucknell Post-Game Extra